I wasn't going to blog tonight. But Emma Grace had a HUGE meltdown. Which triggered my need to blog.
She was beyond reasoning with, and it was clear she just needed to go to bed. No form of discipline was going to work. She was past her point. Almost to the point of being out of control.
That can be very scary and disheartening as a parent to see your child in such a state. Maybe your children never reach this point, but Emma Grace does occasionally. I've found the best thing to do is just to sit with her and start talking in a very soft voice. One that is very hard for her to hear unless she becomes more quiet. It usually works, but it takes a huge amount of patience on my part. Because as parents we expect and desire our children to obey immediately when told to do something. But with a strong-willed child, like Emma Grace, the truth is, it just doesn't always happen that easily. I'm not willing to force more discipline on her to get the behavior that I desire. I've tried that in the past, and it only escalates her to a level far beyond where she is at that moment. Maybe I'm wrong in my approach. I know I do things wrong, and I've never professed to being perfect...far from it in fact! But it is usually successful. Once I get her calmed down, we can talk, and I can reason with her better.
Their BFF, Sidney, is having a sleepover tonight, so of course she didn't want to go to bed before them. She was very upset, and I asked her if she wanted me to rock her in Grady's rocker. Her answer, of course, was yes. Who wouldn't want to be rocked and cuddled? (We do not do this often, so it is a treat. I think we've only rocked in there once before.)
I guess I need to confess that we rocked Emma Grace at bedtime until last October when we moved the rocker from her room in anticipation of Grady's arrival. Remember, I said there were some advantages to being small, right? I guess that's one of them.
Oh, and don't feel too sorry for Jessica, because we rocked her until we moved the rocker for Emma Grace to come home from the hospital. And she wasn't so small! She was four and about as big as Emma Grace is now!
I've always loved rocking my children. When Jessica was a baby, I was catching a lot of slack from people about rocking her to sleep. But I loved it and couldn't imagine it any other way. She didn't need to be rocked at all hours of the night, only when she was initially going to sleep. I was talking to another mom, who was older than me at the time, and she said, "If it's not a problem for you, then it's not a problem".
It was one of the joys of being a mom. I LOVED every minute of rocking Jessica and Emma Grace to sleep. Now, this won't surprise you, but Emma Grace DID want to be rocked all hours of the night.
But you know what?
It still wasn't a problem.
It was a joy!
I had prayed for her to live and come home and be in my arms. And there she was. And I didn't take one minute of it for granted. There were days when I was so tired, and Gib too, that I didn't think we would make it to bedtime that night. But I can honestly say that I don't regret it for one minute. I think Gib would agree.
Those are sweet memories. That is time I can't get back.
And I miss it!
With every ounce of my being.
With all of my heart.
I was rocking and singing to Emma Grace in Grady's room tonight. It was dark. The door was closed. And after she was asleep, I just held her on my chest, rubbed her hair, kissed her head and listened to her breathe.
I thanked God for my children, both near and far.
I remembered when the girls were both much smaller...what it felt like to rock them.
I closed my eyes and pictured, with deep longing in my heart, what it would be like to hold Grady...
In that room.
In that chair.
To sing to him.
To rock him.
To listen to him breathe.
To feel the weight of his body on my chest.
I miss it.
And I miss him.
But tonight, I'm so thankful for Emma Grace's meltdown. For it brought me a moment of clarity and reflection on the love I have for my children. That I need to constantly be mindful of the time that I have with them...for I cannot go back in time. No matter how hard I try. I can only look forward, to tomorrow, and the opportunity to love them, hug them, cherish them, and the chance to make more memories with them that I can reflect on in the years to come.